by Joanne Harris

Sunday, May 4, 2003

Featured image for Coastliners

A tale of a village on an island somewhere off the coast of France that’s had me captivated for the last couple of days. I’ve seen Joanne Harris’s books in the shops but not been drawn in by the culinary sounding titles. This place themed book sounded far more like my thing and it was and having read it I’m straight off back to the bookshops to pick up those foody books…

Mado left the island of Le Devin at fifteen with her mother leaving her boat building father behind and they headed for the bright lights of Paris. Ten years later Mado is back to visit and see what has, or hasn’t, changed in the meantime. The book is full of rivalries, between the two villages on the island, between families of fishermen, between brothers and sisters and suitors. I love the intricate web that’s woven between the people and the places, odd details that turn out to be important, huge secrets that lie hidden just beneath the surface. I thought I knew where this book was going from early on and I was out by a mile, misdirection’s a wonderful thing. This was great stuff and I hope Harris’s other books are just as secretive and interesting.